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Drone problems...

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Peter Christy22/10/2018 13:06:54
1429 forum posts

Not the usual kind, but I seem to be suffering from a drone infestation!

Some background: I'm lucky enough to live in a semi-rural coastal area, near to a beach and very close to the local steam railway. The railway passes over a viaduct a hundred yards or so from my house, giving me a spectacular view of it.

We regularly get train spotters outside taking pictures of whatever locomotive is running on the track, and if anything special is running, we get quite a lot. My garage has an easily accessible large flat roof. It is very strong (you could park a tank on it! ) and I often invite the spotters to use it to get a better view.

Of late, however, they are turning up equipped with drones, and I have been getting it in the neck from my neighbours who, knowing of my hobby, want to know if it was me flying over their house! (NO, it wasn't! )

Yesterday, as I was backing my car out to go flying, a car pulled up outside my house, and a chap got a drone out of the back and prepared to take it off from the pavement beside the road!

Now the road goes down to the beach, and even at this time of year is quite busy with people going down to there to enjoy the sunshine and view and maybe walk the dog.

I pointed out to the chap that if he proceeded to fly the drone from there, that he was in breach of several sections of the Air Navigation Order, and that he should seek a safer place to fly it. He didn't argue, but looked a bit sheepish and left.

Half an hour ago, I heard a familiar buzzing noise, and went outside to find another group with a drone, taking off from the pavement, and flying over my neighbours' houses and the road to get shots of the trains on the viaduct.

I enquired if they knew they were breaking the law, to which the drone pilot replied "Oh, I'm a licensed professional!"

I pointed out that in that case he should know better and enquired if he had any 3rd party insurance. I got a rather vague reply.

I offered the stills photographers the use of my garage roof as a gesture of good will, but suggested to the drone pilot that he stop flying from this location.

My question is what else can I do to deter drone pilots from flying from a location that I regard as dangerous and annoying? I only knew they were there because I could hear the drone from inside my house, and I wear hearing aids!!!

I'm not anti-drone as such - in fact I've just finished editing a video for the local golf club that was shot with one. But the stupidity of operating them in a residential area, and over a busy road, beggars belief!

Its no wonder the powers that be are getting twitchy!

--

Pete

Former Member22/10/2018 13:14:46
1322 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Frank Skilbeck22/10/2018 13:58:43
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4382 forum posts
101 photos

Just on this topic, have any other clubs been approached by e-mail from a drones organisation asking for permission for their members to fly at your site, it looked like they were trying to make a register of sites where their members could fly from. They said all their members had taken a competency test (online) and they provided insurance.

We pointed out that only club members could fly from our site and that they had to be a BMFA member too

Before anyone asks, yes we do have some members who fly multi-rotors.

Peter Christy22/10/2018 14:10:09
1429 forum posts

Yes, we got one of those! The organisation had offices in Canary Wharf, which immediately raised my eyebrows!

Our club in question is very small (only half-a-dozen of us), and the site belongs to the Golf Club - its a bit of spare land next to their driving practice range. As a result, we operate under considerable restrictions - silent flight (or very quiet electric) only and no-fly-zones. Its great for a bit of evening relaxation in the summer, but not much use as a general flying site, and is very much members only.

I was very puzzled as to why we would be of interest to an outfit based in Canary Wharf - hardly the cheapest real estate in the UK!

--

Pete

Nigel R22/10/2018 14:10:31
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2849 forum posts
469 photos

As in, "that site you pay for, can we use it for free mister?"

Really?

Hook, yours, sling, rearrange at your leisure, my response would be.

(OTOH, join up and contribute to running the site, play nicely, all are welcome.)

edit: would assume Canary Wharf address was purely for the purpose of providing a correspondence address, "company kits" are available which include that kind of service, to separate personal addresses from business.

Edited By Nigel R on 22/10/2018 14:12:03

john stones 122/10/2018 14:18:16
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10381 forum posts
1475 photos

Had one fly outside my house, pulled his car up and flew over a major road, mate of my neighbours, he knew all the rules/law blah blah, had a word and said I'd take photo of him and his car, he packed up and not been back.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/10/2018 14:21:26
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Moderator
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Sadly this is a problem. But one of the good aspects of the changes to the law that will take place Nov 2019 is that hopefully they will put an end to this - without effecting us too much. It will give the police a simple test to apply "Can I see your pilot registration please...don't have one, come with me please sir" If we had 6 months of that, this would stop.

Well,...we can but hope.

BEB

Nigel R22/10/2018 14:46:01
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2849 forum posts
469 photos

Unfortunately, you can't stop idiots being idiots.

Peter Christy22/10/2018 14:51:09
1429 forum posts

To give you some idea of the location we are talking about, this was taken from the pavement in front of my house, from where the drone was taking off:

When I got outside, the drone was flying adjacent to the railway track, directly above the house with the "For Sale" sign! To get there, he had to fly over the road - which although empty when I took the photo, has a steady stream of traffic up and down it - and the nearer of the two houses opposite.

--

Pete

john stones 122/10/2018 14:56:51
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10381 forum posts
1475 photos

Nice view Pete.

Bucksboy22/10/2018 15:07:36
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556 forum posts
106 photos

I can offer no solution, the manufacturers have made them so very easy to fly, anyone with the money, can and does fly as we all know. The trouble is I can see no help over the horizon either. The Police have been cut beyond effectiveness so it will be near the bottom of their list of priorities even if you call them, and I'm retired Plod myself. In your case you can actually see the pilot, so the Police have got someone to talk to should they arrive in time. Most cases you wont know where the pilot is, even if the officer see's the drone in the sky, how do they find the pilot to talk to? I also now fly them professionally but not in the UK and regularly get them (DJI brand) over 4km away from me.

My club does allow and encourage them but there does seem to be the belief that once you've bought the machine, all responsibility for flying it safely and within the law can be ignored. A modern problem that will only get worse I'm afraid.

Edited By Bucksboy on 22/10/2018 15:08:34

alex nicol22/10/2018 17:48:23
245 forum posts
12 photos

What about a 12bore and give the pheasants and clay pigeons a rest?

Joking aside, I honestly think these should be completely banned unless operated by a fully licensed and competent operator.

Devcon122/10/2018 18:45:15
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1354 forum posts
475 photos

I seem to remember when the Flying Scotsman visited the South West there was a specific appeal by the rail authorities to members of the public not to attempt to use drones to try and get photos of it so clearly there have been issues and incidents.

I've noticed event organisers having to put specific restrictions into their documents to ward off the menace. The military who organise Ten Tors on Dartmoor have had to do this based on the incompatibility of low flying Merlins with uncontrolled drone use.

Former Member22/10/2018 20:29:08
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Peter Christy22/10/2018 20:43:34
1429 forum posts

The impression I got from talking to the two who tried to fly from outside my house, is that they rely on the public and police being unaware of the law and their responsibilities. Both scarpered pretty quickly when challenged by someone who knew a little of the subject.

--

Pete

Phil 922/10/2018 21:02:44
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4278 forum posts
218 photos

you could try an official looking sign. It may deter some of the drone operators. I know people who have had success with faux official no parking signs

Former Member22/10/2018 21:39:08
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/10/2018 21:55:15
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Moderator
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

As I say, under the regulations to be brought in in 2019 by CAA every drone pilot will:

1. Have to be registered

2 Have to have passed a competance test.

So contracts etc are not needed, we just await the law in November 2019

BEB

PS BTW those regs will include us!

Rich too23/10/2018 07:36:31
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2885 forum posts
1046 photos
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/10/2018 14:21:26:

Sadly this is a problem. But one of the good aspects of the changes to the law that will take place Nov 2019 is that hopefully they will put an end to this - without effecting us too much. It will give the police a simple test to apply "Can I see your pilot registration please...don't have one, come with me please sir" If we had 6 months of that, this would stop.

Well,...we can but hope.

BEB

Do you really think the police are going to do anything? Not a chance. We've got practically no transport police left now.

Steve J23/10/2018 08:02:28
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1151 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by Peter Christy on 22/10/2018 13:06:54:

My question is what else can I do to deter drone pilots from flying from a location that I regard as dangerous and annoying?

Have you spoken to your local council? They could put up signs and/or issue a Public Space Protection Order.

Steve

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